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Inside Gaming: What's in a Name? Sands, Plaza, Tropicana All Debating Changes

Inside Gaming: What's in a Name? Sands, Plaza, Tropicana All Debating Changes 0001

It seems like everyone is looking for a change this week. The Las Vegas Sands is considering changing its name to reflect its new international presence. The Plaza Hotel in downtown Las Vegas announced it is closing for at least a year to complete a total renovation. When it reopens, it will be rebranded the Union Plaza. The Tropicana Las Vegas, on the other hand, would like its name to be left alone. Its asking a bankruptcy court judge to throw out a lawsuit claiming ownership of the Tropicana trademark.

Taking the Las Vegas Out of Las Vegas Sands

The Las Vegas Sands Inc. is contemplating dropping the "Las Vegas" from its name to reflect the fact that the company has gone global. The change would also come at a time when public companies are trying to distance themselves from images of Las Vegas and its ailing economy. Company Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson said the new name would either be "Sands International" or "Sands Resort International."

Adelson told Dow Jones the change would "reflect more that we're not just in Las Vegas." The company owns three hotel-casinos in Macau, meaning it has a greater presence in the region than any other U.S.-based company. The Sands also recently opened a $5.5. billion complex in Singapore. A vote on the name change could come as early as the next board of directors meeting in November.

The Las Vegas Sands isn't the first company to consider changing its name. In June, MGM Mirage shareholders voted to change the company's name to MGM Resorts International.

For more about the proposed change, check out the Las Vegas Sun.

Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas Shutting Down To Create New Union Plaza

Owners of the Plaza Hotel in downtown Las Vegas announced on Monday that the property will be shutting its doors in November for at least a year to allow for a complete renovation of the hotel. When it reopens, it could be renamed "Union Plaza." Tamares Real Estate said it will renovate its 39-year-old facility's 1,037 guest rooms and casino. The Plaza occupies 16.5 acres at one end of the Fremont Street Experience.

Parts of the property will remain open, including the Plaza's slot machine parlor, food court, and popular Firefly restaurant. The Plaza's Copa Showroom will also continue to operate. Closing the rest of the facility, however, will cost more than 400 employees their jobs.

The Plaza has not announced a budget for the project, but a consultant told the Gaming Control Board in August that it was conducting negotiations for a $20 million loan to be used for renovations. Downtown hotel-casinos have faced declining revenue since the economy went south. The Golden Nugget debuted its new expansion and renovation in November, further pressuring its neighbors to keep up or close down. Binions closed its hotel rooms last December. In February 2006, the Lady Luck casino shut down for renovation but never reopened.

Read more about the closing here and hear about Mayor Oscar Goodman's desire to implode the Plaza here.

Tropicana Las Vegas Trying to Keep Its Name

Last week, operators of the Tropicana Las Vegas hotel and casino asked a bankruptcy court to dismiss a lawsuit over the ownership of the name "Tropicana." Financier Carl Icahn filed a lawsuit in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware last month seeking ownership of the Tropicana trademark.

Tropicana Entertainment LLC entered bankruptcy several years ago, which prompted two reorganization plans. The operator of the Las Vegas casino, Tropicana Las Vegas Inc., emerged from bankruptcy last year. Icahn's company, Tropicana Entertainment Inc., controls the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City. His company left bankruptcy in March but put up the $150 million in financing that allowed both divisions of Tropicana to get back on their feet. Now, Icahn Agency Services LLC is claiming full ownership of the Tropicana name.

Get the details of the suit from Bloomberg.

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